Ever since having a child, I’ve found myself taking more weekend car camping trips to make up for what used to be backcountry backpacking trips. I’ll always be a backpacker at heart though, and prefer off-the-grid car camping sites to avoid the large crowds and excess noise. As my son has gotten older, our trips have gotten longer, and I started looking for a single portable charger that would take care of all of our power needs.
As a blogger with a full time job, there are times I still need to be connected while traveling. On most trips, I need to keep my phone, camera batteries, and GPS watch charged at a minimum. For longer trips, I also need to have a laptop and/or Chromebook charged and ready to go. Over the past few months I’ve been using the myCharge Ultra Portable Power Outlet for these needs, and it has been nothing short of amazing.
The myCharge Ultra Portable Power Outlet comes in at 1.5lbs and measures 5.0 in x 5.75 in x 1.4 in. This thing is massive compared to some of the smaller lipstick chargers I use on backpacking trips, but size doesn’t really matter for car camping.
The myCharge Ultra is made of solid plastic with a rubberized face and back end. I’ve found this unit to be pretty tough and sturdy so far. The front face has a power button to activate the USB ports and a power cord button to activate the AC outlet. A small screen on the front lets you see the current charge of the battery, as well as information on which ports are in use.
On the inside of the myCharge, you’ll find a 20,000mAh lithium ion battery. For perspective, a high end smartphone is usually around 3,000mAh. For those unfamiliar with mAh, it stands for milli-Ampere-hours. mAh is an indication of how much electric charge a battery can provide. On a weekend camping trip, I’m able to charge our phones a few times, my watch, and my camera batteries without dropping more than one bar on the powerbank meter. I can also charge up a Chromebook or iPad without issue as well. The maximum power output is an impressive 65-watts via an AC outlet. This means I can’t use it to charge my 2015 Macbook Pro with its 85-watt charger, but so far, this hasn’t been a need. I can always pick up a 60-watt Magsafe charger if the need presents itself. With a max power output of 65-watts, the myCharge Ultra can also power a small TV for up to 4-hours! This isn’t something I’ve tried, but might be cool for a campsite movie night.
The myCharge Ultra charges up using a DC charging cord. The battery charges up pretty quickly, but can take a few hours when close to empty. I usually just plug this in before I go to sleep and it is ready to go in the morning. The battery holds its charge very well when not in use. I’ve left the myCharge in a drawer for a few weeks and it was still fully charged when I pulled it back out.
Battery: 20000mAh Lithium Ion
Product Dimensions: 5.0 in x 5.75 in x 1.4 in
Product Weight: 1.50 lbs.
Total Output: AC 110V 65W
Output by Port:
-USB-C Port: 3.0A
-USB-A Port #1: 2.4A
-USB-A Port #2: 2.4A
-Total Shared: 3.4A
-AC Port: 65W
Ports and Charging
The myCharge Ultra comes with four charging ports, 1x USB-C, 2x USB-A, and 1x AC 65W. It’s really nice that myCharge included the fast USB-C port to future proof this investment. Almost every new gadget is adopting USB-C, so it’s nice to have that as an option, while still being able to use the legacy USB-A ports for my existing gear.
For small devices like my iPhone, iPad, GPS watch, and satellite transponder, the USB ports work well. I’m able to plug them in and have the devices charged up in pretty much the same amount of time as it takes from my wall charger at home. When all the USB outlets are full, I’m able to utilize the AC power outlet with my wall charger adapters, giving me four full charging points.
I only have positive things to say about the myCharge Ultra for off-the-grid weekend. As a blogger that relies on content creation and storytelling to operate, it has been invaluable to me to have my phone, tablet, watch, satellite transponder, and other devices fully charged on trips without any risk of them going dead on me. For longer trips, it’s nice to be able to charge up and power a small laptop or Chromebook as well. The only critique I have of the myCharge Ultra, is that the maximum power output of the AC is 65W. For larger laptops (that almost all content creator use), this just isn’t enough. I can see this being an issue for overlanders, boondockers, or people living in vans. As someone that requires a high powered laptop to complete tasks for my day job, it would be nice to have the ability to charge up while on the road. A small complaint for sure, but one worth mentioning.
The myCharge Ultra Portable Power Outlet is a great piece of gear to add to your kit if you’re looking to keep your devices charged on your off-the-grid adventures. As a family of three that has increased our car camping outings, it has been invaluable to me to have my gear charged up for days at a time. I’ve been using the myCharge for the past few months and haven’t really handled it with care, but it doesn’t seem to matter. This thing is tough, and the battery hasn’t shown any degradation at all.
Coming it at $179.99, the myCharge Ultra doesn’t come cheap, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a charger with this size battery and a 65W AC charger for much less. I always ask how much I’d be willing to pay to not have my camera battery die during the perfect sunset, or have my phone or satellite transponder die when I need them most. I don’t really have an answer. When it comes down to power and having my devices charged, I’m willing to invest in the right gear.
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